VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - City council adopted an ordinance Tuesday night that would not allow the sale of puppy mill puppies in city pet stores.
"This ordinance is going to send a message to everybody in the state of Virginia that puppy mills are frowned upon in the city of Virginia Beach, that we are going to enforce the state code," says Councilman Benjamin Davenport.
As of last year, the Virginia state code says that pet stores cannot sell puppies that come from puppy mills in other states.
On Tuesday night, Virginia Beach City Council passed an ordinance that now make it city code as well.
Councilman Davenport says he has already contacted animal control about enforcing it.
An undercover Humane Society of the United States investigationfound that the Pet-Go-Round at the Lynnhaven Mall received hundreds of puppies from some of the biggest brokers, known as "middlemen" for puppy mills, back in 2014.
"It's also about the bottom line for tax payers," says Matthew Gray, Virginia State Director for HSUS. "They take places in homes that might otherwise adopt a dog from a local shelter and you all well know the cost and consequences of crowded municipal shelter conditions."
"There are going to be some small changes for sure in the pet stores," says Kara Moran, a local animal advocate.
Back in January, Moran started a petition, that now has more than 13,000 signatures, for Virginia Beach pet stores to sell rescue dogs only.
However, that is not something that Virginia Beach City Council could make city code until it becomes a state law.
"It's a stepping stone," she says.